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Out-of-the-box solutions have made it easier for non-professionals and those with little to no tech experience to create websites and blogs with relative ease. Whatever your level of experience, or whether you plan to create the site yourself or have a professional do most of the heavy lifting, there are some things to take into consideration before you start.
A website is only as good as its design and content. In order to create a relevant and enjoyable user experience, the site should be concise, uncluttered, easy to navigate and provide value to the visitor. The following elements are essential to create a professional-looking, functional website:
There should be a multi-stage design process, with adequate testing at each level
The design should be of high quality, with attention to detail
Content should be interesting, well-written and timely
The website should use the most current design technology
It should comply to current standards, with clean code
It should employ the latest best practices for SEO orientation and cross-platform usability
Before beginning, you should have a clear idea of the purpose of the website. Whether it’s to provide information or to sell a product or service, the design should fit the purpose. Resist the urge to overload the visitors’ senses by adding too many distracting elements such as animations and graphics. A clean, well-balanced page layout is more conducive to keeping the user engaged. There are five elements that are critical to a successful design:
There should be a good balance of objects on each page, i.e. heavy and light, large and small
The pages should have a unified look
Focal points should be strategically placed to draw the viewer’s eye to critical elements
Provide a good contrast of colors, shapes, and textures
Use small blocks of text, broken up by headers and bullet lists for easier scanability
Designing a website is time-intensive, but it can be done. However, sometimes it’s worth the investment to get professional help, at least at the preliminary stages.
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